News Articles

Netherlands finally ends SA flight ban ` and shortens quarantine to 5 days with a negative test

Source: Business Insider SA, 08/06/2021

• The Netherlands has announced that flights from South Africa will be allowed to resume, with travel exemptions offered to non-EU residents.
• Although most South Africans still won`t be able to enter the Netherlands due to an ongoing EU ban, students, key workers, and those with compelling family reasons will be allowed to travel.
• Permitted travellers will be subjected to a shorter quarantine period if they test negative for Covid-19 on day five of their self-isolation.
• South African passengers can now also transit through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
The Netherlands has ended a six-month-long travel ban which restricted flights from South Africa amid concerns about a new Covid-19 variant. While the lifting of restrictions will benefit returning Dutch residents and in-bound tourists, most South Africans will still not be able to enter the Netherlands due to the ongoing ban imposed by the European Union (EU).
The Netherlands was one of many countries which reacted to the discovery of the 501Y.V2 variant by imposing a blanket travel ban on South African visitors. Since late-January, limited flights departing from South Africa have only been permitted to carry Dutch nationals and EU citizens into Amsterdam.
This travel ban has been extended several times on a monthly basis, but on Tuesday morning, the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs announced that flights from South Africa would be reinstated.
And, although the EU Commission recently recommended that member states allow fully vaccinated travellers to enter their respective countries, this reopening policy has not yet been adopted by all European nations. A Digital Covid Certificate ` including authorised certification of vaccination and negative test results ` is currently being trialed within the EU and is expected to rollout to all member states in July.
Until then, most South African travellers remain barred from entering the Netherlands or any other country within the EU. There are, however, several exceptions beyond returning Dutch or EU nationals which permit South Africans entry into the Netherlands.
Non-EU travellers, along with those from “high-risk” countries, must present a negative Covid-19 test result ` obtained within 24 hours of departure ` before boarding a flight to the Netherlands.
But where previous rules required visitors to endure ten days of quarantine, travellers can now exit self-isolation after just five days. To do this, travellers will need to present another negative Covid-19 test result on the fifth day of quarantine. Travellers will also need to complete a Health Declaration Form.
Travel exemptions extended to non-EU residents and long-stay visa holders are determined according to five primary categories:
• Study, knowledge, and research
• For work
• Compelling reasons to visit family
• Transit or transfer
• Humanitarian reasons
South African students travelling to the Netherlands for a short stay of less than three months ` with proof of enrolment at a recognised educational institution ` will be permitted to enter. Similarly, recognised researchers and scientists are also exempt from the EU travel ban.
Care workers, doctors, and nurses ` listed as `key workers` ` are allowed to travel to the EU, as are travellers employed in the following sectors within the EU:
• Transport (container ships, bulk carriers, tankers, fishing boats)
• Energy (oil or gas platform, wind farm)
Seafarers on commercial vessels with a length of 24 metres or more will also be permitted entry as will flight crews. Journalists and `elite athletes` may also apply for a travel exemption into the EU.
Family members in the first or second degree will be allowed to travel for the purpose of visiting a terminally ill family member or attending a funeral. Travellers will also be allowed into the EU to see their new-born child or grandchild.
South African travellers will now also be allowed to transit through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on to another non-EU country.
The Netherlands` flag carrier, KLM, is currently offering daily flights between Amsterdam and Johannesburg`s OR Tambo International Airport. Three weekly flights are offered to Cape Town.


Search

  •    The home affairs ministry has urged the public to delay application for national documents ` due to rising Covid-19 cases ` that are not urgent. The ministry has over the past three weeks recorded 10 positive Covid-19 cases among its staff at different offices countrywide.... Read more...
  •    The inbound travel trade celebrated today (June 9) following news that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has moved South Africa from risk alert Level 4 to Level 3.... Read more...
  •    The extension will be done automatically and at no cost to the visa holders On Tuesday, King Salman has directed authorities in Saudi Arabia to automatically renew the validity of residence permits (Iqama), exit and re-entry visas of expats stranded abroad until July 31, 2021.... Read more...
  •    Citizens of Cyprus, Sweden, and Lithuania can now enter Portugal without being obliged to follow quarantine rules upon their arrival, as the latter’s authorities have lifted such a measure for these three countries after estimating that they have recently reported fewer COVID-19 cases of infection.... Read more...
  •    • The Netherlands has announced that flights from South Africa will be allowed to resume, with travel exemptions offered to non-EU residents. • Although most South Africans still won`t be able to enter the Netherlands due to an ongoing EU ban, students, key workers, and those with compelling family reasons will be allowed to travel.... Read more...
  •    An employee at the AG`s office has been arrested. Getty Images • A general manager at the office of the Auditor-General in Pretoria has been arrested. • He allegedly offered a Home Affairs official a R3 000 bribe. • According to the Hawks, it emerged that his ID card and his daughter`s birth certificate were fraudulent.... Read more...
  •    An employee at the AG`s office has been arrested. Getty Images • A general manager at the office of the Auditor-General in Pretoria has been arrested. • He allegedly offered a Home Affairs official a R3 000 bribe. • According to the Hawks, it emerged that his ID card and his daughter`s birth certificate were fraudulent.... Read more...
  •    Rights groups, UNHCR and EU criticise move, which some fear will have a domino effect and see other nations opt out of responsibilities.... Read more...
  •    Crisis to come at a head at the end of June and July, when applications for visa renewals are submitted A child waits in line at a department of home affairs office.... Read more...
  •    Politcal parties raised concern of the problem of long queues where often people are turned away because the system is offline. Minister Aaron Motsoaledi came under fire from some opposition parties in the National Assembly for what they say is the chaotic state of the Home Affairs department.... Read more...

Get the latest Immigration News